There are just three certainties in life. Death, paying taxes and an annual West Ham injury crisis.

Our obligatory trip to Dubai last week was intended to give the players a boost ahead of a relatively decent run-in. Instead it’s left us crippled and scraping the barrel for a half-decent starting XI.

Arsenal away signals the end of what has been a dreadful run of fixtures for us since the turn of the year. We’ve not disgraced ourselves against the toughest teams throughout that run, yet we’ve been atrocious against the lesser, relegation threatened teams. Typical West Ham, eh?

So if we can stick to what we know best today, then we may just be leaving the Emirates Stadium with at least a point this afternoon. But then when you consider what players have available, we’ll be lucky to keep the Gunners at bay.

Winston Reid and James Tomkins are crocked, with the latter reportedly out for the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder. Once again, injury strikes directly after we further diminish our resources by sending players out on loan (Doneil Henry to Blackburn).

Enner Valencia’s domestic disaster – slicing his big toe open on a broken cup at home – means he’s doubtful for today, while Alex Song’s suffering with a knee injury that could also see him miss out, regardless of how desperate he is to prove to his old employers that he’s still got it.

Carl Jenkinson’s ineligible, which means good ol’ Guy Demel should slot in at right back. This is the last time Jenko won’t be available ‘against’ Arsenal, according to David Gold – let’s hope we get him on a permanent deal this summer.

Anyway, with all the aforementioned injury problems in mind, here’s a look at how we might line up against Arsenal today…

Click on Big Sam to reveal

Sam Allardyce